The man who was injured outside Dango Fitzgerald’s sports pub on Caroline Street in November by an off-duty Saratoga Springs police officer plans to sue him and the city.
Jeffrey Bennett, 41, who was injured when Edward Braim pushed him into a parked car, has filed notice with the city that he plans to file a civil suit against the city and Braim, said his lawyer, Lee Kindlon of Kindlon, Shanks and Associates of Albany.
Braim, 34, resigned his position last month and will have the misdemeanor assault charge against him dismissed in six months if he complies with City Court conditions.
Kindlon said he has filed notice on behalf of his client that he intends to seek damages against Braim and the city for the Nov. 12 assault. He said the amount of money his client is seeking hasn’t been determined.
Braim and two other off-duty Saratoga Springs police officers were involved in the incident outside Dango Fitzgerald’s Pub. Only Braim was charged criminally. The other two were placed on temporary administrative leave while the city investigated.
Braim, who had not known the victim prior to that night, slammed Bennett into the side of a vehicle parked outside the bar causing injuries that included difficulty breathing, redness, swelling and contusions to his torso, neck and wrist, Kindlon said in a prepared statement.
The fight began between Braim and another man. Bennett had intervened to defuse the situation, Kindlon said.
“Braim, instead, focused his anger upon the peacemaker,” Kindlon said.
He said this was not the first allegation of assault by Braim. In 2009, a Skidmore student was accused of assaulting Braim, only to have the charges dropped on the day of trial. Six different witnesses came forward to state that Braim had, in fact, assaulted the student, Kindlon said.
“Questions remained, however, about what, if anything, the city of Saratoga Springs did following these disclosures to rein in officer Braim,” he said. “Ed Braim had been a problem in Saratoga Springs for a while. The city of Saratoga has known this for years.”
“We are asking for accountability, not just from Ed Braim but from the city of Saratoga Springs,” he said in a statement.
The official in charge of the city Police Department stood by the city’s actions.
“I am confident that the city and the District Attorney’s Office handled the Ed Braim case properly,” city Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen said Monday.